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"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam

The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.

Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.

Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!

Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.

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Fraud email example:

From: "MR.COLLINS OKOLIE." <> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 04:33:37 +0100

TELEPHONE: 234-803-390-8919

I am Mr.Collins Okolie, Branch Manager of
the United Bank For Africa, Lagos, Nigeria.

I have an urgent and very profitable business
proposition for you that should be handled with
extreme confidentiality.

On July 10,2000 a Foreign Oil Consultant and
contractor with the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC) Mr. James Herbert by name made a
numbered time Fixed Deposit for twelve calendar months
valued at US$18.6M (Eighteen Million, Six Hundred
United States Dollars Only) in my branch.

Upon maturity I sent a routine notification in
accordance with the Bank policy to his forwarding
address but got no reply.

After a month we sent a reminder and finally we
discovered from his contract employers the Nigerian
National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that Mr. James
Herbert died from an automobile accident.

On further investigation, we found out that he died
without making a Will and all attempts to trace his
next of kin was fruitless. I therefore made further
investigations and discovered that Mr. James Herbert
did not declare any next of kin or relations in all
his official documents including his Bank Deposit
paperwork in my Bank.

This sum of US$18.6M has been carefully moved out of
my bank to a Security Company in Europe for

No one will ever come forward to claim it and
according to Nigerian Law, at the expiration of 5
years the money will revert to the ownership of the
Nigerian Government if nobody applies to claim the

This prompted us to contact you.We will like to front
you as the next of kin of our late client thereby
making you the legal beneficiary of the sum of $18.6
million U.S Dollars that is presently in a Security
Company in Europe.

I contacted you because it is against our code of
ethics to own and operate foreign accounts and your
assistance would be needed to claim the money in the
Security Company in Europe.

We have unanimously agreed that 25% of the entire sum
would be for you if you agree to take part in this
profitable transaction,70% for me and 2 of my
colleagues while the remaining 5% would be used to pay
back the expenses that may be incurred during the
course of the transaction by both parties after the
fund has been claimed and lodged in your account.

In the event that you are genuinely interested in the
transaction,the following information would be needed
from you to expedite action.

1) Your Full Name and Address that would be used to
establish you as the next of kin of our late client
thereby making you the legal beneficiary of the fund.
This would ensure that the Security Company in Europe
releases the Consignment/Fund to you.

2) Your Private Mobile,Telphone and Fax numbers where
you can be reached at all time because this
transaction entails constant communication.

The transaction is 100% risk free as all modalities
has been perfected to ensure the hitch free success of
the transaction.

If you are interested, send the requested information
via email so that we can proceed and after sending it you call me.

I await your response urgently.

Mr.Collins Okolie.

Anti-fraud resources: